Archive for October, 2010

Halloween in Malden

Sunday, October 31st, 2010


Bainbridge Street in Malden, Massachusetts, celebrates Halloween in style. Photos by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Previously: Same street last Halloween.






Iron Guild’s 5th annual Iron Pour

Friday, October 29th, 2010


The Iron Guild performed its fifth annual Halloween Iron Pour “Molten Metal Monster Mayhem” at the Steel Yard in Providence tonight. Photos by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Previously: Our photos of the 2009 and 2008 Halloween Iron Pours.











Yokelist Memo: We need more fountains

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


One of the strong additions to Boston’s collection of public art in recent years is “Rings Fountain” on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, with its 64 nozzles throwing water as much as 30 feet into the air. When thinking of public art around here, we tend to think of static works. But this artwork, located near Milk Street by the New England Aquarium, energizes its location by its movement. And when it’s hot out, it becomes a children’s wonderland.

Farver to retire from MIT’s List

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Jane Farver, director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center, announced today that she will retire from her post in May 2011 after leading the Cambridge institution for nearly 12 years. Under her leadership, the List has been one of the most challenging and forward-looking art institutions in the region.

Farver herself organized List exhibitions and projects by Mel Chin, Michael Joo, Paul Pfeiffer, Runa Islam, Kimsooja, John Coplans, Adel Abdessemed, and Tavares Strachan. She also helped put together the exhibitions “Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s” and “Sensorium: Parts I & 2 – Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art.” She also oversaw MIT’s Percent-for-Art public art program, adding more than ten works to the campus, including Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Ring Stone” (2010), Anish Kapoor’s mirrored, stainless-steel work inside the Frank Gehry-designed Stata Center, and Sara Sze’s “Blue Poles” (2006).

Farver intends to return to New York, where she held numerous positions prior to coming to MIT and has maintained a home, according to MIT. MIT Associate Provost and Ford International Professor of History Philip S. Khoury said that a search plan for selecting the next director is already under discussion.

Cristi Rinklin

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

One of the best paintings made here this year is Boston artist Cristi Rinklin’s “The Weight of the World” (above), which is on view at Steven Zevitas Gallery through Saturday. Scarves and curtains and lumpy clouds swirl. Stripes curl. And in the background, rise trees and mountains. All in a symphony of antifreeze blue.

For some years, Rinklin has been exploring the meeting point of painted and digital representations, and the junction of realism and abstraction. Here clouds are rendered, by turns, sculpturally or in flat cartoon outlines. But none of them are quite realistic clouds, in the way that the background mountains are mountains. Painted in oil and acrylic on aluminum, it’s a tour de force of perception and painterly technique. And it’s fun.

Rinklin’s flashe on Duralar works here don’t achieve the same feeling of depth and painterly finesse as Rinklin’s large compositions on aluminum. Many of those oils and acrylics are good, but “The Weight of the World” is better. It’s a big (60 by 40 inches), lush, dreamy painting, animated by all its kinetic elements, the bright artificially-flavored color, and suggestions of depth through Rinklin’s use of sharp focus and then what seems like a Photoshop blur (but painted).

The peaks in the background are a shout out to 19th century Hudson River School landscapes. (Locally Joe Wardwell has been bushwhacking through this territory as well.) Rinklin is clearly trying to channel some of those painters’ feeling of rapture—and succeeds.

Cristi Rinklin, Steven Zevitas Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, Sept. 30 to Oct. 30, 2010.

Halloween Iron Pour on Friday

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The Iron Guild performs its fifth annual Halloween Iron Pour “Molten Metal Monster Mayhem” at the Steel Yard, 27 Sims Ave., Providence, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, 2010. This live foundry spectacle is one of the most awesome art events held in New England each year. Doors open at 6. Admission is $7. The Empty House Cooperative provides musical accompaniment.

Previously: Our photos of the 2009 and 2008 Halloween Iron Pours.

Photos of last year’s event by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Zacchilli and Kent’s ‘Night for Day’

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

From our review of Mickey Zacchilli and Natalja Kent’s installation “Night for Day” at AS220‘s Project Space in Providence:

“Night for Day” is like a manic, feral, black-and-white, punk, strobe light, spook house — just in time for Halloween.

The Providence artists fill the walls of the gallery’s front room with ink drawings and photocopies of bloody punched faces, skulls, slinky ladies, eyeballs, a demon on a sleeping woman, snakes, and an Alien head. Everything vibrates with wiggly zebra stripes and snakeskin patterns. You then pass through curtains into a darkened second room featuring flashing lights and giant odd cartoon heads on flat sheets of wood. Behind one more set of curtains is a little alcove where you can sit and watch a jittery, pixely animation featuring a snake head, pulsing patterns, squiggly lines, pizza-head and dog-head characters, and flashing text: “No,” “Dog,” “Love,” “Violence,” “Nobody’s baby,” “I like you.” On her blog, Zacchilli describes it as “crappy digital camera stop motion . . . [with] ridiculous music to go along with it.” Which pretty much captures its punk attitude, nonchalant wit, and purposely half-assed zone-out style. Black-and-white balloons are strewn across the floor like you’ve arrived after the party just ended.

Read the rest here.

Mickey Zacchilli and Natalja Kent’s installation “Night for Day” at AS220′s Project Space, 93 Mathewson St., Providence, Oct. 3 to 30, 2010.

Natalja Kent, “Untitled” ink on paper.


Mickey Zacchilli “Devour,” ink on paper.

Worst Public Art nominations end Friday

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Friday, Oct. 29, will be the last day we’ll accept nominations for our Worst Public Art in New England project. So submit your nominations now. And check out our entire list of Worst Public Art nominations so far here.

Worst Public Art: ‘The Patriot’?

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010


Chris Lennon in Bedford, Massachusetts, nominates Bruce Papitto’s 2000 bronze sculpture “The Patriot”in Bedford for our Worst Public Art in New England project (submit your own nominations):

“The piece on bad public art that was on WBUR really struck a chord with me. There is a relatively new statue in Bedford that just seems to annoy me.

“Several years ago Bedford (I suppose feeling left out because while Lexington and Concord have Minuteman statues Bedford doesn’t.) put up a Minuteman statue in one of the town parks.

“The statue shows a Minuteman running with the Bedford flag. I suppose that we are supposed to imagine that he is leading the Minutemen into battle against the British in 1775. There are a couple of things that annoy me about this statue.

“The first is that Bedford (I’m a Bedford resident) felt the need to put up a Minuteman statue at all. I mean, Bedford has the actual flag that was carried by the Minutemen on April 19th 1775. It’s on display in the Bedford Public Library. What is better than an actual historical artifact? Apparently, you aren’t on the map unless you have a statue. It just feels so Lexington and Concord wannabe to me.

“The second is the statue itself. The running man has oversized feet and legs and generally looks, well, chunky. The guy needs to go on a diet. My wife and I refer to the statue as ‘the fat guy with the flag.’

“The park where it is located is a nice little spot, across the street from a shopping center and next to a paved extension of the Minuteman Bikeway. It would be great if they took away the fat guy and just left a sign.

“If you want to see an actual Minuteman artifact of historical significance just go up the hill to the Bedford Public Library and have a look at the Bedford flag.”

Read our entire list of Worst Public Art nominations so far here.

Photo by Ian Britton, reproduced under a Creative Commons license.

Worst Public Art: ‘Wall of Respect for Animals’?

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010


A reader who would like to go by the name Raye nominates Be Sargent’s 1999 “A Wall of Respect for Animals” mural along McGrath Highway in Cambridge for our Worst Public Art in New England project (submit your own nominations):

“The mural made me giggle every time I passed it when I was going to work in 2003 (ironically, work was an art studio!). The artwork is poorly executed and laughable. The concepts do not go together (unless they are all animal supporters)–Frederick Douglass (I think!) and Elvira? I would miss it if it went away, but I think Cambridge can do better. And why is it on the side of a nut factory? Curiouser and curiouser…”

Read our entire list of Worst Public Art nominations so far here.

Worst Public Art: Kids stuff, Trolly Tunnel?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010


Matthew Lawrence of Providence writes in with the following nominations for our Worst Public Art in New England project (submit your own nominations):

“I would like to submit a blanket nomination for Anything Made By Children. Art education programs are great and all, but it’s really disappointing to see so much state arts funding go to hideous murals made my children when actual adults artists flee the state because there’s so little room for exposure here. (I guess I’m referring to Rhode Island specifically.) I get particularly riled up about folks who complain about graffiti in local parks, when whatever spraypaint in question is often just feet away from horrid and enormous primary-colored inspirational handprints, or whatever.

“My runner-up is the shelter at the North Main Street trolley tunnel [in Providence]. I’m not sure who made it–it’s pretty old at this point and no amount of Googling is giving me an answer–but it’s always made public transportation seem like the grimy, polluted alternative to everyone separately driving their own car.”

Read the entire list of nominations so far here.

Worst Public Art: Boston City Hall?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010


Juliana Brown makes the following nomination for our Worst Public Art in New England project (submit your own nominations):

“I don’t know if it exactly qualifies as ‘art,’ but City Hall and the brick-paved wasteland around it is the least-lovely thing to look at in Boston.”

Ms. Brown is not alone in her judgement. In 2008, the website VirtualTourist.com named Boston City Hall the ugliest building in the world! They wrote: “While it was hip for it’s time, this concrete structure now gets routinely criticized for its dreary façade and incongruity with the rest of the city’s more genteel architecture. Luckily, it’s very close to more aesthetically pleasing attractions.” Thomas Garvey also penned a thoughtfully acid critique of Boston City Hall and Brutalist architecture in Boston.

Read our entire list of Worst Public Art nominations so far here.

Photo by Bobak Ha’Eri, from Wikipedia, used by Creative Commons License.

Worst Public Art: Di Suvero’s ‘Huru’?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

An anonymous reader writes in from Dorchester with the following nomination for our Worst Public Art in New England project (submit your own nominations):

‘Huru’ by Mark di Suvero at Umass Boston is ghastly.”

Read the entire list of nominations so far here.

Worst Public Art on WBUR

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research’s “Worst Public Art” project was featured on WBUR’s “Morning Edition” today. You can listen to it here and submit your own nominations here. Radio reporter Andrea Shea notes:

“It sounds like art bashing, but Cook says that’s not the point. He wants to spark dialogue, and ask why we — the public — feel like we’re stuck with public art once it’s installed. ‘And I don’t mean to be sort of flip or move too fast on it,’ Cook clarified, ‘it’s not just about trying to like, willy-nilly get rid of stuff, it’s about seriously asking the community about what doesn’t work and how can we make it better?’”

Shea also spoke with sculptor Robert Shure, whose Irish Famine Memorial in Boston has received the most nominations so far:

“You might be surprised that among the Boston Famine Memorial’s critics is the artist who made it.”

You can read our growing list of nominees here, read our Worst Public Art Manifesto that kicked off the project here, or submit your own nominations here.